From Our Lands to Your Hands

Meaghan Huffman of Boulder County Open Space shows a sugar beet to Eisenhower Elementary fourth grade students.

Food does not come from the grocery store — though it might seem like it these days to young city dwellers.

That is today’s experiential lesson for 600 Boulder Valley School District fourth graders who attended the third annual From Our Lands to Your Hands exposition at BVSD’s Arapahoe Campus.

Local growers and agricultural organizations presented demonstrations and hands-on activities to connect students with the journey of food from the farmer’s land to our plates.

Eisenhower Elementary fourth graders race in teams to plant and nourish their crops first.

Eisenhower Elementary fourth graders race in teams to plant and nourish their crops first.

Bringing home where our food comes from

“When kids are driving down the road and see crops growing, we want them to know that’s our food supply,” said Jerry Alldredge of Nutrients for Life.

Today, only two percent of Americans raise the food we eat, leaving 98 percent of the population far removed from agriculture and the important role it plays in our daily lives—from food to many of the everyday items we depend on.

But at today’s event, students engaged body and mind with learning about plants and farm animals, and the process and techniques for growing and caring for them — and had some fun, too.

Fourth graders ran relays, jump started siphon-style gravity-fed irrigation, and listened to presentations, all to learn:

  • the cycle of how plants grow
  • where plants find nutrients
  • what types of food and other products plants are made into
  • the different types of energy and which are renewable or non-renewable, and hydroponic and greenhouse gardening.

“Cows are milked two to three times a day, and it takes about five minutes each time,” pointed out Amber of Colorado Farm Bureau.

Aspen Creek fourth graders prepare seeds outside of the greenhouse at Boulder Valley School District's CTEC Arapahoe Campus.

Aspen Creek fourth graders prepare seeds outside of the greenhouse at Boulder Valley School District’s CTEC Arapahoe Campus.

High school students take a leading role

High school-aged students from Boulder Valley’s Greenhouse Management Class at the Arapahoe Career and Technical Education Campus (CTEC) demonstrated hydroponic and greenhouse gardening. “With a greenhouse, we can control the environment and grow just about whatever we want,” said Kit Claus, CTEC student.

Of course, here in Boulder, we don’t have to go far to see the food we eat growing. The city and county are rich with growers — from backyard gardens to small acreage farms nestled in our community.

“People are growing some great crops on really small acreages and growing organically. Boulder County is probably at the top of organic production,” noted Nutrients for Life representative, Jerry Alldredge. “Farmers markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are quite popular, where people buy produce grown right here.”

From Our Land to Your Hands is a collaborative effort of:

  • Boulder Valley and Longmont Conservation Districts
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Boulder County Parks and Open Space
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • CSU Extension
  • Boulder Valley School District

For more information

Visit www.longmontcd.org/Our-Lands-to-Your-Hands-Expo

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